Member congregations of the Chagrin Valley Council of Churches plan to gather on June 30 to talk about the environment. The day-long session is sponsored by Common Ground.

The discussion will center on whether the environment has changed for the better and how can groups work together to make improvements.

The meeting will take place 2 to 4 p.m. at the Chagrin Falls Park Community Center in Bainbridge. Food will be provided and all ages are welcome.

The goal is to promote a regionwide initiative to explore the community’s power to communicate and connect in order to build a stronger, safer and more dynamic home, according to the Cleveland Foundation’s Common Ground mission statement. Common Ground has a goal to create spaces where meaningful connections are made and purposeful actions can begin.

In this case, the talk will center on the theme, “My environment was, my environment is and my environment will be.”

Judy Kramer, a member of the Federated Church of Chagrin Falls, will be at the upcoming session. She noted that her interest stems from being on her church’s Social Justice and Mission and Service committees.

Anyone from Cuyahoga, Lake or Geauga counties who cares about the future of the community and wants to be a part of a forward-looking conversation is welcome to participate, organizers said.

The Rev. John Wahl, pastor of Valley Presbyterian Church in Bainbridge, said the participants will gather in groups to discuss the topic of the environment. They will discuss our social environment in the community and the natural world environment.

Rev. Wahl said he will be one of the several facilitators in place to get the conversations started. This is the third year the Cleveland Foundation is sponsoring the Common Ground, and the Chagrin Valley Council of Churches is co-sponsoring the Common Ground talks, he said.

About 100 other discussion sites are anticipated in the Cleveland Metropolitan area, Rev. Wahl said.

“We want a public space people will feel comfortable coming to,” he said, as with the Chagrin Falls Park Community Center.

The Rev. Matthew Thurman of St. Luke the Evangelist Orthodox Church in Bainbridge is also one of the facilitators for the event.

Rev. Thurman noted that the topic is different every year and is suggested by the Cleveland Foundation. “I very much like the concept and the format of this,” he said of gathering people in the community for conversation, meeting with neighbors and having a discussion.”

In the topics, with the third one being “My environment will be,” group members will discuss what each envisions for the future.

Member churches of the council are Bainbridge Community United Church of Christ, Federated Church CCC, Holy Angels Catholic Church, Ledgewood Christian Church, Lord of Life Lutheran Church, St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church, St. Luke the Evangelist Orthodox Church, St. Martin Episcopal Church, Union Bethel AME Church, United Methodist Church of Chagrin Falls and Valley Presbyterian Church.

To register go to For more information call 440-247-6030.

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